Wednesday, July 3, 2019


If you missed my FB Live Monday you can check it out today.

What am I doing talking about snow gear on a hot, July day? Well, several years ago I was fortunate to be invited to Fairbanks, Alaska, to do a workshop for teachers. It was amazing and incredible!!! I met some wonderful teachers, including Kim Ivie. Kim recently published this book that might "cool" you off today. I'll let her tell you more about it.

Once winter hits in Interior Alaska, it is here most of the school year. It is not uncommon for students to have to wear Halloween costumes over their winter gear to stay warm as they are trick or treating. In my district, students go outside to recess down to -20. When it’s cold outside, the kids play on the equipment like any other day or like they would in the summer. They have learned that the slides are sometimes a little faster because of their snow pants and that they should not to touch anything metal with their tongues or it will stick to it. Unfortunately, the snow that we get is not wet enough for them to make snowmen, occasionally it will be and then you will find the playground full of snowman. They have learned that you bundle up and go do fun things outside. Skiing, sledding and dog sledding are fun after school activities they will do.

While, most of the students in my class are used to putting their snow gear on and they know how to do it, it is the first time they are doing it in a school setting, independently and without their parents helping them, they still need help and reminders of the correct order to put it on in. Each year when it starts getting cold or we see the first snow flurries. I talk with the students about of the order to put their snow gear on in and that snow pants have to go on before snow boots. We laugh about how they can’t put their boots on first and then expect their snow pants to go on. No matter how many times, I talk about this, I always have a student that tries and then is in tears because they can’t get their snow pants on or the child that puts their coat on and then tries to pull their snow pants up. I found that when I made it a song of the order to put their winter gear on it, it was more fun and they kid’s had fun. They would sing it over and over as they got ready and the students were less frustrated as they got ready independently. This is how “The Snow Gear Song” all started, because I kept repeating the order of the gear in a singsong voice. It stuck with the students and is one that I have used over the years. I have the students put their gloves on last so that they are able to zip their coats up on their own independently.

Here is a video that my district made last year of my students singing the song as they were getting ready for recess one day.

You can contact Kim at


You might not be going on a car trip to Alaska this summer, but here are some car games that we played recently on our family trip. I warned the grandchildren ahead of time that we were going to play "olden days" and there'd be no electronic devices in the car. (Well, after a few hours I was worn out and so they got out your iPads.) However, we did laugh and have some good times that I hope they will remember more than their video games!

License Plates – Can you find a license plate for every state? Write them down as you find them.

Alphabet – Can you find a word on a billboard that begins with each letter of the alphabet?

I Spy – Colors, shape, beginning sound…inside or outside the car.

20 Questions – Take turns thinking of a person, place, or thing. Other players can ask 20 “yes” - “no” questions to try and determine the answer.

Name That Tune - Hum a song and see who can name it.

Nursery Rhymes - We tried to think of how many nursery rhymes we could say and we came up with 30+.  (My 14 year old grandson knew tons, but I was shocked that my 9 year old granddaughter didn't know many at all.  Nursery rhymes are part of our literary heritage and you can bet we will work on them when she comes to visit in August!)

Ghost – This is a spelling game. The first person says a letter. The second person adds another letter. The third person adds another letter and so on. You do not want to spell a word because if you do, you will get a “g.” The word has to be at least four letters long. If someone says a nonsense word, you have a right to challenge them to see what their word might be. If it’s not a legitimate word, then they get a letter. Every time you spell a word you get another letter from the word ghost. The first person to spell out ghost becomes invisible and you don’t talk to them.

What car games do you remember from your childhood?